Not far from the Canadian border and ninety minutes north of Seattle is the city of Bellingham, Washington, home to Auda Sinda, an artisan hand weaving rug studio. Founder and Creative Director Amy Tyson studied textile design at FIT in New York city. After working as a rug designer for Tufenkian and Stark Carpets, Tyson returned to Washington state and founded True North Textiles in 2014 after a chance encounter with a weaver gave her an opportunity to buy the weaver’s looms.
‘Meaningful work is a crucial part of what we do’, says Tyson. The company values connections to the local traditions of ‘homestead culture’. Weavers use American-made hand-powered looms and domestically sourced fibres to eliminate problems caused by international supply chains. More importantly, domestic sourcing lessens the company’s impact on the environment and provides a clear and easily understood provenance for each rug. Resourcefulness includes ‘incorporating production overflow into our rugs’, so nothing is wasted. The outcome of this belief system is rugs that are ‘kinder to our planet’ and will remain ‘timeless, elegant and practical’.
Inspired by these beliefs and by ‘the resilience and inventiveness [found] in nature’, the company vision was ‘re-imagined’ in early 2021. Values such as sustainability and creativity are now at the forefront. To represent this shift, True North Textiles was renamed Auda Sinda in March 2021. The new name is described by the company as ‘adapted from the archaic German for ‘old path’ to symbolise ‘our commitment to honoring traditions of hand weaving, while innovating for the future’. (‘Auda’ means ‘to dare or to have courage’ in the fantasy Nordic language of the roleplaying game Boulders & Barbarians. The game’s goal isn’t to ‘win’ but to find creative solutions to difficult problems, making this word association appropriate to the reimagined Auda Sinda.)
‘Weaving essentially means uniting opposite forces to create a strong foundation’, says Tyson, ‘a sense of grounding … [that is] integral to our work. Our reverence for materials and nature inspires us to create timeless, original pieces. We honor the past, while striving boldly forward into the future.’